Chuck’s Place: Spirit In the Flesh

– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Organizing my tools for easy access, I discover eccentric looking wrenches I may have used only once. Truth is, I don’t even remember what for. What to do with these valuable but perhaps once in a lifetime project savers, as well as the countless mini hex wrenches and screwdrivers that accompanied furniture projects to be assembled?

I soberly face the hidden truth of my tool hoarding, and perhaps all hoarding as well: eternal life parks its spirit in the material items of this life. The belief is that someday all items will be used. The someday of hoarding encapsulates infinity, life without end; never throw anything out.

Spirit is eternal life. Spirit is the intent that manifested our physical world to take material journeys with its infinite spirit. The Faustian small print of that agreement is the actual short life of all things material. We crave to live spirit in the flesh, yet spirit as trickster dares us to face our material mortality.

This bipolar human condition is the opposition of infinite spirit and mortal body. When we inflate we momentarily commune with infinity. This is the motive behind all addictions. The spirit to obtain unlimited more—be it the compulsion to pile boundless money, to ingest bottomless drug or food, to collect vast wardrobe and material goods, or to cling to relationship—is the quest to experience infinite spirit in material form.

Deflation and depression are the crash of Icarus: the material world is a world of limitation. Once spirit approaches material limits, it abandons its projected love object. The result is that we deflate into a spiritless morass. That which once glowed with transpersonal union is judged as both human ignorance and failure.

Sobriety is the path that intends acceptance of human limitation while maintaining a relationship with spirit. The shamans of ancient Mexico concluded each introduction of their personal names with the caveat: “…a being who is going to die.” This was their technology of sobriety. By constantly reaffirming their mortality they freed themselves to be fully present and spiritedly alive to every moment of life in human form.

This attitude of ultimate equanimity countered the misguided but powerfully embedded human attitude that we have forever. Hence, we needn’t acknowledge the shadow of death that stalks us all.

Yes, we may have forever in spirit form, but this appears to be our only opportunity to be in the specific human life we are in. If we languish in spirit identification without actualizing in human form, potential fulfillment will have to wait for another time, in another place, in a different life.

Without spirit we could not exist in the flesh. Yet spirit demands we take responsibility for reconciling the fact of our bipolar human condition. Spirit presents us with countless material false god trials onto which it projects itself. The inflations and deflations of human life lead us to stare down the trickster side of spirit and realize the possible in the life we are in.

With this, spirit is enhanced and fulfilled, both in this life and in its ultimate journey beyond.

May all find the fortitude to truly realize their Spirit in the Flesh.

Sorting my tools,



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